Effective for the Fall 2021 catalog term, a Civics Literacy graduation requirement has been implemented by the Purdue University Board of Trustees for all incoming Purdue West Lafayette freshman and undergraduate transfer students.

Civics Literacy Program FAQ’s: 

Q: What is the Civics Literacy Requirement?   

A: Students will complete the requirement by passing a test of civic literacy, and one of three paths:

  • Attending six approved civics-related events.
  • Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material.
  • Completing one of these approved courses.

Q: Who does this requirement apply to?   

A: The Civics Literacy Graduation requirement applies to all Purdue West Lafayette students who enter Purdue on or after the fall 2021 catalog term, including transfer students.  Students enrolled prior to the fall 2021 catalog term do not have to complete the requirement, but may choose to do so on a voluntary basis.

Q: Why is the requirement being implemented? 

A: The Civics Literacy program was created with the goal of adding to the educational experience of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry.

The desired learning outcomes include:

  • Increasing student understanding of important contemporary political issues.
  • Identifying opportunities to grow one’s engagement in American politics.
  • Raising student awareness of, and options for, civic participation.

Q: Can a West Lafayette undergraduate student who enters Purdue on or after the fall 2021 catalog term, graduate without the Civics Literacy requirement being met?

A: The intent is for all incoming undergraduate students, including transfer student, from catalog term 2021 forward, to complete this requirement at some point during their time at Purdue. Therefore, it will be required to graduate.

Q: Can a West Lafayette undergraduate student who enters Purdue on or after the fall 2021 catalog term appeal the requirement? Are there exceptions?

A: There are no exceptions identified at this time.

Q: How will Civics Literacy be designated for students? 

A: Once the required test and one of the three options have been completed, a designation of “Civics Literacy Proficiency” will be placed on a student’s transcript in the semester in which activities were completed.  If you believe you completed the requirements and, at the end of the semester, this notation does not occur, please email: civicsliteracy@purdue.edu

Q: Where can a student find out if they have completed the requirement?

A:   Students can monitor their completion of the graduation requirement in myPurduePlan.  Students may also monitor completion in the myPurdue Student Civics Literacy Dashboard.

Q: Will AP and transfer credits apply? 

A: One of the options for satisfaction (plus the Civics Literacy test) is completion of a course on an approved list. These courses may be completed at Purdue.  Additionally, AP credit earned for these courses will count for completion. Courses transferred in as equivalent to a Purdue course will also count toward completion.  Questions about transfer credit may be directed to: transfercredit@purdue.edu  or  inti-transfercredit@purdue.edu 

Students must still pass the exam.

Q: For courses on the approved list, what minimum grade is required?

A: A grade of “C-“or higher is required when a course is taken for a grade.

Q: Can I take the required Civics Literacy test more than once? 

A: Yes, students may retake the test as many times as needed to achieve successful completion.  A study guide for the exam is available.

Q: If a student or advisor has questions about their work in Brightspace, who do they contact?

A: Please contact: civicsliteracy@purdue.edu

Q: I experienced a technical problem with the podcasts. Who do I contact? 

A: Please contact Connie Doebele  cdoebele@purdue.edu 

Q: My student group is planning an event that will have speakers and information in the area of civics literacy. How do I get this event on the approved list? 

A: Register your event in Boilerlinks and ask for it to be reviewed for Civics Literacy.  A review team will approve or deny your request. 

Q: I became interested in a topic; how do I learn more? 

A: A Civics Literacy Resource Guide is available here.


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